Decreased early complication rates associated with rheumatoid arthritis compared to alternate indications for total elbow arthroplasty

Jason A Shah, Nick N Patel




Rheumatoid arthritis is currently seen as the primary surgical indication for total elbow arthroplasty (TEA). Nevertheless, surgical indications continue to expand accounting for greater TEA case volumes. Despite evolving trends, very few data describes complications associated with specific surgical indication of TEA.


We analyzed The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database for individuals that received a TEA from 2006 to 2015. Surgical indications and 30-day postoperative complication data for patients treated as inpatients at participating hospitals was obtained.


317 patients were identified for analysis. 22.1% of individuals received TEA for rheumatoid arthritis. 52 total adverse events were reported for all patients undergoing TEA. Rheumatoid arthritis patients experienced significantly lower rates of overall adverse events (8.57% versus 18.62%, p= 0.045).


Rheumatoid arthritis patients that undergo TEA are significantly less likely to develop a 30 day post-operative complication than patients who receive TEA for other reasons.




Total elbow arthroplasty; Rheumatoid arthritis; Complications; NSQIP

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